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FTTC install. Couple of questions (urgent!)

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Grafter
Posts: 30
Registered: ‎13-05-2010

FTTC install. Couple of questions (urgent!)

I'm due to get PN FTTC installed this Friday. I'm really looking forward to it, but have a couple of questions I could do with some answers on.
Firstly, does the connection from the router to the BT VDSL modem have to be a point-to-point RJ45 link, or can it be a switched link via an existing home LAN?
Secondly, on the day of the installation, will be the BT engineer just check connectivity from the BT modem, or will he be expecting to check from behind the router?
If someone could help answer these, I'd be really grateful. Only got a few days to the install now!
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Community Veteran
Posts: 1,412
Thanks: 4
Registered: ‎29-01-2009

Re: FTTC install. Couple of questions (urgent!)

I guess there's no reason in principle why it won't work. It probably depends how the Router identifies the Modem in order to direct the PPPoE packets there.
I found this page, describing some entirely different hardware, that suggests it is certainly possible. The primary aim there is to be able to get a computer to be able to access the Modem's GUI - which I'm sure we'd love to be able to do with BT's hardware, but it seems to be locked down. However, the mere existence of the page suggests that what you want to do is plausible. Method 4b, I'm guessing, is closest to what you want.
Though you probably don't want to set it up like that when the BT guy turns up.
The BT engineer will usually check a sync speed out on his dedicated tester (so ask him for the stats when he does, as you have no other way to extract them); he'll also want to check the sync on the modem. However, they don't seem to want to perform anything from the router for Plusnet, although they sometimes seem to for Infinity installs.
Plusnet Customer
Using FTTC since 2011. Currently on 80/20 Unlimited Fibre Extra.
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Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: FTTC install. Couple of questions (urgent!)

I'm afraid the set-up described in the link above will not work as the VDSL modem does not have an IP address so there is no IP address to connect to via your local network/switch. The connection between the WAN port of the Plusnet supplier router and the VDSL modem must be a direct RJ45 connection - although this can be up to 100 meters.
BT will do their tests to confirm the line is working but will not set-up or test the router supplied by Plusnet - although many of them have been trained on the BT supplied routers and they can set them up. However they should allow you to test it and confirm everything is working before leaving.
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Community Veteran
Posts: 1,412
Thanks: 4
Registered: ‎29-01-2009

Re: FTTC install. Couple of questions (urgent!)

Errr... An IP address shouldn't make any difference: I wouldn't expect PPPoE packets to end up needing to go to somewhere with an IP Address: PPP is the layer under IP, and PPPoE is below that.
As far as I understand it (which is limited for PPPoE, but less so for generic ethernet & IP comms), the layer beneath PPPoE is plain bog-standard ethernet - and so just need to go to somewhere with a MAC address.
I guess the real question is whether there is any interaction between router & modem to identify the modem as the "way out of here". If the modem just acts as an ethernet bridge, then I agree that you don't want your internal LAN traffic (whatever payload is in the ethernet frames)  bridged out to BT!
Plusnet Customer
Using FTTC since 2011. Currently on 80/20 Unlimited Fibre Extra.
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Grafter
Posts: 244
Registered: ‎13-12-2007

Re: FTTC install. Couple of questions (urgent!)

I guess as WWWombat says it depends on whether the packets reach the modem.
I'd actually go with PV's suggestion on my network.
Computer -> Switch -> Firewall -> BT Modem
If I moved the BT Modem to the switch (ie the rest of my network):
Computer -> Switch <-BT Modem
Then with no IP address, the Switch would never send anything except Multicast and the like packets to it.  It is a switch after all.
The Firewall doesn't worry about that, I've told it which port to send the PPPoE stuff over.  I can't/don't do the same with the switch
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Grafter
Posts: 30
Registered: ‎13-05-2010

Re: FTTC install. Couple of questions (urgent!)

Really appreciate the replies. Thanks very much.
Honestly, not being able to use my LAN to connect the router/modem is not ideal for me. I was really hoping to be able to use this method. I wanted to locate the modem near the primary phone socket, which in turn is near an Gb ethernet switch, which is an extention of the network from my office. I don't have a dedicated RJ45 point for the modem in this room. In the office (where the current router and a secondary phone extention are), I was under the impression I couldn't locate the modem here, as it needs to be connected to the primary phone socket. I'm wondering now if it's possible to convert the secondary phone extension to the primary socket, so I can locate the modem there.
I'm also not planning on using the Netgear router PN sent, as I want to use my own one which has all the ethernet WAN support built in (Billion BiPAC 7800N). Lots seem to be using this without problem, so I'd like to keep it.
If necessary, would BT switch the sockets over? I can't imagine this is a big task.
Finally, is the standard BT VDSL modem wall mountable?
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Grafter
Posts: 164
Registered: ‎18-05-2011

Re: FTTC install. Couple of questions (urgent!)

BT converted my extension socket to the new master socket, so it can be done. In my case the old master socket is now, I believe, non-functional other than housing the connection to my new master socket. It sounds as if you want to have an extension socket where your current master socket is; you might have to do that yourself afterwards.
I'm using a Billion 7800N; I didn't even upwrap the PN-supplied Netgear.
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Grafter
Posts: 30
Registered: ‎13-05-2010

Re: FTTC install. Couple of questions (urgent!)

Cheers AxeMurderer. I guess if the modem has to be connected via a point-to-point ethernet connection (as suggested), then I will need to locate the modem within easy reach of the Billion. This means I would need to have the extension phone point converted to the master, but does this mean I can have the original master converted to a secondary? I guess I'll have to speak to the BT engineer to see if this is possible. I do really need two phone points if possible.
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Community Veteran
Posts: 1,412
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Registered: ‎29-01-2009

Re: FTTC install. Couple of questions (urgent!)

Quote from: tman247
I wanted to locate the modem near the primary phone socket, which in turn is near an Gb ethernet switch, which is an extention of the network from my office.

Was there a problem in locating the Billion where the ethernet switch is?
I guess you can't replace the switch with the Billion (as it won't be Gb), but you could colocate them, and plug the router into that switch, rather than leaving it in the office.
Plusnet Customer
Using FTTC since 2011. Currently on 80/20 Unlimited Fibre Extra.
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Grafter
Posts: 164
Registered: ‎18-05-2011

Re: FTTC install. Couple of questions (urgent!)

Good point. The Billion IS a (wired) gigabit switch. Could the OP just swap the positions of his current gigabit switch and the Billion?
...or...  actually use the PN-supplied netgear at the position of the existing master socket, between the fibre modem and the existing switch, with wireless disabled if that's an issue. And let the Billion be just an access point still positioned in the office.
Unless I'm missing something.
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Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: FTTC install. Couple of questions (urgent!)

when I got my Sam rdevice/outer last year it had to be connected via ethernet to the main router, and any other ethernet connection had to come off the Sam device
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Grafter
Posts: 30
Registered: ‎13-05-2010

Re: FTTC install. Couple of questions (urgent!)

Thanks again. I'll explain. The Billion is in our office, and uplinks to another Gb switch that feeds most of the PC's and the server in this room. It's also optimally placed for wireless for the house. There is then another uplink from the Billion that runs out of the house, round the walls and back into the lounge, where it connects to a small 5 port Gb switch (in an enclosed media unit) which is where the blu-ray player, media center, PS3 etc get their connection from. Due to there being no easy run from the office to the lounge, I can't run another dedicated point-to-point CAT6 cable for the VDSL modem. The primary phone socket is in the lounge, the secondary being in the office.
If I locate the BT modem in the lounge, as already stated, I can't use the 5 port ethernet switch to connect it to the LAN, as it won't work over a switched network. If I locate the modem in the office, I can easily connect it to the Billion via CAT6 flylead, but would have to get the secondary phone socket made the primary and vice versa as the modem has to connect to the primary socket (again, so I'm lead to believe).
Hope this makes sense, and explains why I'm a little limited on where I can connect things!
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Grafter
Posts: 164
Registered: ‎18-05-2011

Re: FTTC install. Couple of questions (urgent!)

Unless I'm missing something, my second suggestion should still answer your needs:
Your current master socket is in the lounge. Let BT install the fibre modem in there, and also install the PN-supplied Netgear in there. Configure the Netgear so that it does not do wireless, and connect it via Cat5 to the gigabit switch in the same room. So the Netgear will only be there to convey traffic to/from the internet (which can't travel faster then 40Mb), and to do DHCP.
In the office, connect the Billon's WAN RJ45 socket to the Ethernet cable from/to your lounge, and configure the Billion so that it is only an access point/bridge* (can't remember the precise term, but basically so that it acts as a wireless access point, and a gigabit switch, but does not do DHCP (or ADSL)).
That should leave you with gigabit/wireless available in exactly the same places as now. The disadvantages are that you have the Netgear box switched on all day, and you use up one more RJ45 socket on the switch in your lounge.

*assuming that it can be persuaded to take on such a humble role. It looks like it can, but I haven't tried it.
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Grafter
Posts: 244
Registered: ‎13-12-2007

Re: FTTC install. Couple of questions (urgent!)

Axe has my vote on how I'd do it.
While the Netgear is only 100Mbit, it doesn't matter, as it's purely used to/from the internet, which is slower.
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Grafter
Posts: 30
Registered: ‎13-05-2010

Re: FTTC install. Couple of questions (urgent!)

AxeMurderer, this does sound doable, but one of the main reasons I bought the Billion was because it excels at broadband. The Broadcom chip it uses almost doubled my ADSL connection speed compared to the previous router (Netgear DG834). I can't believe that the Netgear supplied by PN will be as good as the Billion, which is why I wanted to continue using the Billion for all duties. Running the Billion in a pure AP/Bridge mode surely makes the device an expensive 'dumb' brick.
When you say connect the Billion's WAN port to the uplink to the lounge, I assume you mean the EWAN port? Does the EWAN port function differently in AP/Bridge mode? I wouldn't expect this to work as a standard Gb ethernet port, as it's primarily designed to connect to PPPoE devices.
I will thank you personally though for your input into trying to make sure my FTTC install goes according to plan. If only I could use a switched connection between the Billion and the VDSL modem, I wouldn't be worrying about any of this!